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January 2010, Vol. 4

Is full email encryption the solution to Exchange security?

Is your Exchange environment the weakest link in your information system? All the compliance requirements and vendor marketing babble being pushed on us lately might make you think so. "You have to encrypt Exchange email in transit" many experts claim. If you don't, they say that you're out of compliance and your business is at risk. When looking at the known data breaches, an online clearinghouse of information on electronic security breaches, you won't read much about rogue insiders or external hackers gaining access to sensitive email in transit. Information almost always covers email exposure at the host level. Sensitive email messages are usually compromised when passwords are cracked, missing patches are exploited and sensitive information is recovered off a lost or stolen mobile device. You'll also see breach stories about unprotected email that was being sent accidentally, potentially exposing the entire system. The question remains: Do you automatically encrypt every Exchange email -- just in case? That's a hard sell. ...

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